T in The Park is taking a break in 2017. A rite of passage for so many young Scots is to take some time to re evaluate whether it can continue as before.
What started as a celebration of music, one of the only ones in Scotland not based on traditional music has now changed considerably. The reputation of the festival has also changed considerably over the years.
At first there were a few hiccups as things settled down. One of the biggest concerns for festival goers was the weather, how many times have we seen reports of people dancing in the mud. The concerns now are more insidious, drugs and drug related deaths have led the reports of T in The Park in recent years.
A victim of its own success, the festival is now not so much about appreciating the music, more about the partying. The demographics of the audience have changed from music lovers to party goers, priorities are different and this has affected the festival as a whole.
No more the happy summer music event. T in The Park now has a reputation for being the archetypal “Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll” event. This change is not the fault of the organisers or the music industry, this change is to do with the audience. If the audience doesn’t change then the behaviour of the audience will not change.
With this in mind, the recent move to Strathallan was met with mixed reactions from the local community. To reduce disruption the local council put in place restrictions to try to ensure the best possible outcome for everyone. Understandably the restrictions were almost prohibitive. These restrictions however did not manage to make the event any safer it seems. While so much noise was being made about keeping ospreys safe, not enough thought went into keeping the audience safe.
Will T in The Park ever regain its crown as the best music festival in Scotland, or is it destined to be the biggest victim of its own success?